The Ultimate Affiliate Marketing Guide for Beginners (2022)
Have a look at a comprehensive affiliate marketing guide for beginners and get started with it to earn a handsome amount of money in 2022.
So you have just heard the term “Affiliate Marketing” and decided to look it up on Internet, right?
You have just read a story where a person has earned thousands of dollars just by affiliate marketing?
No matter how you got to hear the term, the good news is that you are finally taking some practical steps to learn how to do affiliate marketing.
In that context, I would help you learn the A B C of affiliate marketing in this guide today.
You will find practical instructions on how to earn money from affiliate marketing while utilizing different strategies and techniques.
Give this guide a thorough read as we are in for a long ride today!
Affiliate Marketing Guide: The Basics
I get it, “The Internet is already flooded with so much information about affiliate marketing that one gets confused even after reading it properly.”
That would not be the case today!
We will get started from understanding the basics of affiliate marketing followed by some practical approaches to earn a handsome amount of money.
Let us get started with the most basic question first:
Definition: What Is Affiliate Marketing?
According to Neil Patel, “Affiliate marketing is the whole process of earning money while promoting a company’s or a network’s products (both physical and digital).”
You could also define affiliate marketing as “A way to earn money while promoting someone else’s products on different channels online.”
The process of affiliate marketing seems quite easy from the definitions I mentioned above.
However, it does involve a chain of events, which makes it a little bit more complex than you might think.
Here is the catch:
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
Affiliate marketing requires a step-by-step process. That is;
First, you have to become an affiliate of a specific company or a network. It will depend upon your interest and some other factors that we will discuss later.
After getting signed up, you will receive an affiliate link to the product, which you want to promote from that network. Mind you that each affiliate will get an affiliate link with a unique ID to avoid any mess.
Anyways, when a user clicks that affiliate link from your reference, he/she gets redirected to the original sales page.
Now, it all comes down to whether the user makes a purchase or not. If they do, then you will receive a commission on that sale. It will get added to your affiliate account.
Another thing you need to understand in the whole process is the “Role of cookies.”
Whenever a user clicks on the link you have provided, a website cookie will get stored on their browser.
This stored cookie will allow you to track things like who has bought which product and from which location.
Here is the charm, “Even if someone decides to delay the purchase of a specific product and buys it after some days, you will get the commission due to the presence of cookies.”
You also need to understand that these cookies might expire and their expiration may vary for different affiliate networks.
For instance, a popular affiliate network, i.e., Amazon, ensures a 24-Hour cookie expiration time.
That is how affiliate marketing works!
How Much Money Can You Make with Affiliate Marketing?
Probably the only section that will get you extremely excited about this whole affiliate marketing fiasco!
There is no limit to how much money you can make with affiliate marketing.
It could start from $100 a month to manythousand dollars depending upon how much effort you can put in.
Multiple case studies suggest people starting affiliate marketing from scratch and growing their websites to even $20,000 per month.
I have also made $508 as passive income per month with affiliate marketing. And it’s just one website. I have other amazing sites making huge affiliate commissions.
Let me tell you one thing, “This field could make you money while you are sleeping.”
However, you will have to hustle for it as Rome was not built in a day.
Now that you have made up your mind to get started with affiliate marketing, I am here to help you out with a step-by-step guide.
Affiliate Marketing Guide: Step-by-Step Process for Beginners
Beginners or newbies who want to get started with affiliate marketing should know that it is not a hot piece of cake they can eat easily.
I will try my best to cover each aspect of the guide so that you can understand each concept properly.
However, it will come down to how much effort you put into getting the desired results in a minimum time frame.
Have a look:
1. Choose a Niche
The very first step to getting started with affiliate marketing is to choose a niche.
In simple words, you have to choose the area of interest in which you want to promote different products. And it’s extremely important because the wrong niche may too competitive for you.
Still, I recommend starting something that interests you. That is, you will need to find an area in which you already possess some kind of knowledge.
For instance, I love digital marketing. And it’s tough! Yet I am doing it successfully. It’s just because I love it. Need more ideas? Here are some of them:
Health and Physique
Home and Improvement
Two important terms that you need to understand while choosing a niche are;
A Macro Niche (Broader term including all relevant products related to a specific interest)
A Micro Niche (Focusing on promoting a single topic or product)
The best way to start as a beginner is to focus on a micro-niche as it will cost you less investment and will let you earn a handful of money in the near future.
If I were to close down on a micro-niche, I would follow this pattern:
Choose a Macro Niche (For example, Making Money Online>Digital Marketing)
Find a micro-niche (Content Marketing, Email Marketing, and more)
Close down on the niche that I have more interest in (Digital Marketing Tools)
You can do the same with some broader topics that I have mentioned.
Furthermore, I will suggest watching some online tutorials like the one given below to have a better idea of choosing a niche in affiliate marketing:
2. Explore the Affiliate Programs for Your Niche
Based on what niche you decide to work on, you will have to start exploring different affiliate programs to promote its products.
The reason you would need to explore different affiliate programs is that this way you could have a better idea of comparing different networks.
You can then choose one or multiple networks depending upon your niche.
The best way to explore different affiliate programs is to search on Google like this,
“affiliate program” + “Your Niche”. For instance:
Affiliate program + basketball.
You will find dozens of affiliate networks to analyze as per your requirements.
While you explore an affiliate network, you will need to make sure if;
You are eligible for that program,
If it provides a better sales percentage,
Whether the network has products available related to your niche or not,
Whether it is legit or not,
Its cookie expiration time along with other agreement rules.
Keyword questions or question keywords are the phrases people use to ask about something. And if you are good enough to answer it in detail, you’ll get more traffic to your site or blog. Why? It’s because you’re helping people find the right answers online.
Here is how you find questions based on your seed keywords:
Jump on Questions Explorer
Input some seed keywords
Click on ‘Search’ to find related questions
You may want to create an account at H-Supertools to get the maximum keyword questions. But you get plenty of questions even if you don’t create the account. Guess what! Creating an H-Supertools account is also free. So, there’s nothing to lose!
Explore LSI Graph
I have used LSI Graph multiple times to find extremely relevant informational keywords related to the niche I was working on.
You can use this website to your advantage.
Put the main niche you want to explore in the search box and fill the Captcha in order to let the website do its job.
After some time, you will find many informational keywords that you can pick and write to increase the audience’s trust and search engine ranking.
5. Explore Keyword Tool
Last but not the least, you could take help from the Keyword Tool as it is a perfect alternative to Google Keyword Planner.
Simply put the niche (Basketball, Vlogging, and Kitchen) into the search box and let the tool do its job.
Affiliate keywords are the real deal when we talk about affiliate marketing.
These are the keywords that would potentially land you sales and help you earn your first bucks from a website or a YouTube channel.
All your content may have affiliate links, but some of the content is based on the buyer’s intent. That’s why I have separated them here in this affiliate marketing guide for beginners.
So, what actually are affiliate keywords?
Those keywords that show the buyer intent and help a user convert into a customer are called affiliate keywords.
Keywords starting with the word “best”, for instance, best basketball shoes, best outdoor basketball, best indoor basketball, etc.
Keywords ending with the word, “review”. For instance, Jordan basketball shoe review, or Molten basketball review.
Finally, some comparison keywords with “Versus” in between them could also be regarded as affiliate keywords. For instance Jordan vs Nike basketball shoes, or Molten vs Spalding basketball review.
The question here arises, how to find high potential affiliate keywords in 2022?
Well, apart from the free tools that I have mentioned above, you could take help from some paid tools to find affiliate keywords as well.
How to Find Affiliate Keywords in 2022?
1. Do the Google Search
The free method of finding potential affiliate keywords is to use Google Search.
Use the Google search bar to type the following:
Best + “Your Niche” [space]. For example, Best Basketball [space] and let the Google auto search show you results.
You could also find two products related to your niche and add a “versus” between them to see whether users are searching about them or not.
2. Jump on Ahrefs
Ahrefs is one of the best-paid tools for keyword research in 2022.
You can purchase its subscription for 7 days and do extensive keyword research to find some of the best affiliate keywords for your niche.
After you find the keyword, Ahrefs will give you an option to save them as you want.
I am an ex Semrush user and still utilize it to track the ranking of my keywords.
It’s also a paid tool, however, unlike Ahrefs, you will get some free credits in your Semrush account to get started with beginner keyword research.
You could also go to its blog and find multiple strategies to identify high potential affiliate keywords there.
4. Use Keywords Everywhere
Keywords Everywhere is a Google Chrome extension that I think every affiliate marketer needs.
You can purchase around 100k of its credits with only $15 and continue to use it for future findings.
Not only does it show accurate search volume data about a specific keyword, but you will also find many options to explore long-tail affiliate keywords using this tool.
5. Enjoy the Power of MOZ Pro
MOZ offers a free Pro trial for one month and gets paid from next month and onwards.
You could use the website to not only find relevant affiliate keywords, but it will also to let you analyze your competitor’s stats and rankings.
The MOZ Pro blog is also well resourced with different keywords research strategies and case studies. Do not forget to explore it as well.
Commercial keywords are mostly used for paid advertising strategies and campaigns as per the definition of Semrush blog.
The best way to know whether a keyword is commercial or not is to type it in Google and see what type of results you get.
If the first three to four websites are tagged as “AD”, then it means that this specific keyword is commercial.
You will only need to worry about informational and affiliate keywords as a beginner.
However, as your website starts growing, you will need commercial keywords if you want to run paid campaigns and advertisements.
The Best Keyword Research Strategy
The best keyword research strategy is to use a mixture of free and paid tools along with common sense.
I prefer using Keywords Everywhere to find the search volume and trend of a specific keyword.
Next, I use MOZ Pro for competitor analysis followed by the Keyword Difficulty.
Ahrefs is also there to help me discover more potential affiliate and informational keywords.
I also take help from LSI Graph to enhance the structure of my content while creating it.
So, that is what I prefer while doing keyword research and this strategy will help you find many keywords that will help your website gain more traffic and more sales.
5. Start Creating Awesome Content
Strong keyword research combined with engaging and convertible content will skyrocket your affiliate marketing money to a whole new level.
After you are done with the keyword research, the next step will be to create awesome and engaging content around them.
Everything we have done up till now requires less time as compared to creating content.
Be it textual, visual, graphical, or audio, your content should be able to force a user to take action to buy a specific product or a subscription.
How are you going to craft a persuasive piece of content?
Well, here are some of the tips that could become beneficial for you:
Find and Join Niche Relevant Communities
Having a firm grip on your niche means you will have enough knowledge to create content about it.
For that purpose, I already mentioned in the niche selection section that you should choose the field that interests you.
What more you could do is to find niche relevant communities on different social media websites including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit.
Join them and read the discussions happening over there every day to enhance your knowledge.
Watch Product Review Videos on YouTube
Simply search the product name on YouTube and watch how different people have used it.
These people will also reveal the good and bad of using that specific product. Note them down and use them in your content to drive more sales.
Make an Outline of Your Content
Outlining the content you want to write will always help you stay on the right track.
You can research before writing the content and make a rough outline accordingly.
Go through it again and again until you feel that you have not left anything behind.
Analyze Your Competitors:
Your competitors are your biggest helpers in affiliate marketing.
Analyze how they have written the content and why it is ranking on the first page of Google.
See what content gap they have left that you can fill to have an edge over your competitors.
You could also analyze the products they have covered while writing on an affiliate keyword to get an idea.
Do Frequent Product Comparisons:
You can compare two products simultaneously to help the users solve their problems and make a choice accordingly.
For that purpose, you will have to find two best-selling products according to your niche.
To compare them, make sure that you note down every little detail there is to describe the products in detail.
Compare the pros and cons of these products and then give your verdict in the end accordingly.
Create Tutorial Content
You cannot keep your focus on affiliate keywords all the time.
To gain the audience’s trust, you must offer them tutorials that would help them in any way possible.
The best way to create tutorials is to start working on “How To” and “Wh” questions. Find these informational keywords and create content on them accordingly.
What If You Cannot Manage Creating High-Quality Content?
No need to worry about that even if you fail to create engaging content!
You can always hire freelance writers from platforms like Fiverr, or Upwork, and start working with them.
Online platforms have got many skillful writers who will boost the rankings of your affiliate marketing website in a single go.
That is the last solution you could go for if you want to become a successful affiliate marketer.
Never Do These Mistakes While Creating Content:
While creating content, avoid these mistakes at all costs;
Using Article Spinner: It will only waste your time and will land you nowhere no matter how hard you try.
Using Plagiarized Content: Google and other search engines could easily identify if you have copied content from somewhere else. So, avoid it at all costs.
Hiring Cheap Writers: Hiring cheap writers will not get you anywhere. So, it is better to spend money on reliable writers rather than wasting it on cheap ones.
Getting Demotivated: Your content will not rank in 1st position as soon as you post it. Maintain consistency and keep uploading the content every once in a while until your website starts getting organic traffic from different search engines.
6. Sign Up for an Affiliate Marketing Program
I am pretty much sure that your affiliate website will start getting traffic after the first two months if you work on it regularly.
As it is getting traffic, you will not want to let it waste, right?
This is where you will have to sign up for the affiliate network that you finalized above.
For the experiment, I will show you an example of how to sign up for the Amazon Associates Program in easy steps.
Signing Up for Amazon Associates Program: A Step by Step Guide
Amazon Associates is a wonderful program to get started with affiliate marketing.
LinkMe is the simplest URL shortener and link Cloaker that makes your links powerful. Here is how it does so:
Target and retarget your customers easily
Analyze your links performance and optimize accordingly
Have complete control over your affiliate links
Use ‘overlays’ feature to send notifications to your audience
Add custom pixel from Facebook and other such platforms
Brand or rebrand your links at one place
And there’s a lot more you can do with L-ink.Me Premium Linker. Because it’s a premium link management tool, you need to pay a price every month. But here’s what you need to know; get this awesome tool for $99 to use for a lifetime. Thank me later!
Or use different plugins like PrettyLinks to mask the actual affiliate link to make it cleaner and simple.
If you are promoting a tennis racquet affiliate link, it will look something like this without link cloaking:
However, with link cloaking, you can change this URL to:
I simply cloaked a dummy link in a way that it now looks more professional and trustworthy.
You could read more about the concept of link cloaking here:
Learn it thoroughly and apply it to your website to improve the number of clicks on your affiliate links.
8. Drive Traffic to Your Platform (Site or Social Media)
Driving traffic to the platform you use for promoting the products is a difficult task.
Not only does it require time and effort, but you must also invest some money in it to get instant results.
Some of the ways to drive traffic for promoting your website include;
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Search engine optimization ensures direct organic traffic on your website once you optimize it properly.
The idea behind this type of promotion is simple.
You target keywords with low search volume and competition, make creative content on these keywords and get your website indexed on search engines.
Once these engines start crawling your website, it will start getting ranked on different keywords.
You could analyze the growth using different tools such as Ahrefs and Semrush.
But, one thing to keep in mind here is that SEO is a time-taking process.
It will take at least 3 to 6 months until your website starts getting traffic through low competition keywords.
Many people think that there is no benefit in using email marketing as a platform promoting strategy.
That is completely false!
Proper email marketing could still land you many potential clients, especially when you are promoting digital products.
Building an email list surely is a time-taking process.
However, once you gather enough data, you could start pitching them while promoting your website or products.
The best way to make a reliable and large email list is to utilize the Lead Magnet strategy.
That is, you exchange some sort of perks to get a user subscribed to your service.
Now it depends upon your creativity i.e., what kind of things you could choose to pitch to a user via email.
Social Media Marketing (SMM)
With the popularity of platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr, you can take advantage to promote your platforms.
Free social media marketing can get you the desired results, but it will take some time.
On the contrary, you can do paid SMM to redirect multiple users to your website.
Facebook: Join different groups related to your niche and start posting in them. If you want to rush things, try Facebook Advertising.
Twitter: Use the power of hashtags to reach your potential audience. For paid marketing, create sponsored posts on Twitter.
Instagram: Not only could you make a free Instagram account to promote your product, use its official paid advertisement service as well.
Moreover, you can try Influencer Marketing on Instagram as this strategy works like a charm, especially when you are promoting apparel, jewelry, and makeup items.
Drive Paid Traffic
Once your website starts getting organic traffic via SEO, email marketing, or SMM, you can reinvest some of the amounts to increase your income.
For that purpose, create Google Ads or run a YouTube Ads campaign accordingly.
Make sure that you find some commercial keywords related to your niche before you invest money in paid traffic.
Utilizing these strategies will increase the traffic on your website. The more traffic your website gets, the higher its authority. As a result, you will see a spike in your affiliate income and it could increase to as much as even $20,000 per month.
9. Optimize Your Content and Convert Clicks into Sales
The next and final step in affiliate marketing is to optimize your content to get more clicks and eventually more sales.
Without properly optimized content, you will only waste your audience and it will also hurt your website’s ranking in the future due to high bounce rate problems.
Follow me to read some of the techniques and tips that can potentially convert your traffic into customers:
Tips to Convert Traffic Visitors into Customers
Focus on UI and UX
UI (User Interface) and UX (User Experience) play a crucial role in increasing sales on your website.
A smoothly running website with an attractive design can hook up a user really well.
Not only that, but your users will not feel bored while they go through your website to find something valuable.
Make sure that your website is running fast enough to load different web pages. Furthermore, focus on its design if you want to land more potential sales.
Focus on User Intent
Your content should focus on solving the problems of your users.
If it fails to satisfy your user, they will simply avoid visiting your website again.
Know about the user intent first and then act on it accordingly.
Learn the art of describing a problem and solving it through the product you are promoting.
Craft your content this way and no one could stop you from hitting a $1000 per month mark real soon.
Every person loves going into the depth of a specific product before purchasing it.
Take your user as a potential customer and provide in-depth reports including important features, the good aspects, the bad aspects, and how you judge a specific product.
Do this on your website and you will already see a spike in your content.
Conversion Rate Optimization
For improving conversion rate percentage, take help from utilizing attractive product images and videos on your website.
Besides, focus on creating actionable “Call to Action” buttons and place them where you think the user will get hooked.
If you are doing a comprehensive review of 10 to 12 products, then it would be better to design a comparison table to increase the conversion rate.
I am done with explaining literally everything there is to help newbies get started with affiliate marketing.
However, I still think that answering the following questions would help clear some confusion.
1. Which is the most popular affiliate network?
The most popular affiliate network right now is the Amazon Associates program. It offers a variety of brands and products under a single website and you can promote anything you want on this marketplace. Besides, the sales percentage is quite impressive. Amazon also offers different affiliate tools to help its affiliates in the best possible way.
2. Is affiliate marketing a pyramid scheme?
Affiliate marketing is in no way a pyramid scheme as you are not paying anything to the network. In fact, you will get paid from a specific network once you start promoting its products. You can cancel out the program anytime you want. Besides, reliable networks such as Amazon Associates and Share a Sale will pay you your rightful money even if your account gets rejected.
3. How do affiliates get paid?
Different networks offer different payment gateways to their affiliates. Amazon Associates accepts Payoneer as a payment gateway to pay its affiliate marketers. Some other networks might use services like PayPal or Western Union to pay their affiliates.
4. Can affiliate marketing make you rich?
If you give proper attention to this field and keep working consistently for at least a year, then you will see how rich you can become just from affiliate marketing. It is a vast ocean where once you dive, there is no turning back. People are even earning as much as $10,000 per month from different affiliate platforms. So, affiliate marketing can easily make you rich once you understand how it works.
Summarizing the Ultimate Affiliate Marketing Guide for Beginners
Affiliate marketing simply means getting a small sales percentage on the products you promote for a particular network via different channels.
To get started with it, you first need to choose a niche and then do proper keyword research to find informational and affiliate keywords.
Next, you have to create high-quality content for your website and then sign up for an affiliate network.
You can try different strategies to promote your affiliate links. Besides, to drive more traffic, you can try SEO, SMM, and email marketing.
Once you get enough visitors on your platform, focus on improving the conversion rate and enjoy the extra stream of income for your better future!